MMBC CORE BELIEFS
1. WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT GOD
There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. God is all-powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal triune God (TRINITY) reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
A. GOD THE FATHER
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all-powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men. Genesis 1:1; Psalm 19:1-3; John 4:10; Romans 13:1; Revelation 22:13
B. GOD THE SON
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever-present Lord. Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:18-23; John 1:14; John 4:13-14; Colossians 1:15-17
C. GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Savior, and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service. John 4:24; John 14:26; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; Ephesians 1:13-14
2. WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT SALVATION
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.
The new birth, is a work of God's grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace. Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Savior. John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 2:20; Titus 3:5
God's gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer into a relationship of peace and favor with God. Luke 5:32; Romans 5:1; Romans 8:30; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Colossians 2:13
The experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God's purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person's life. 1 Corinthians 6:11; Galatians 2:20; 2 Timothy 2:21; 2 Peter 3:18; 1 John 3:2
The culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed. Romans 8:30; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; 1 John 3:2-4; Revelation 20:11-15
3. WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT SCRIPTURE
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to humankind. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation. Deuteronomy 29:29; Psalm 1:1-3; John 1:1; Romans 10:17; Timothy 3:15-17
4. WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT DISCIPLESHIP
We believe, by God’s grace, every member of the church is to be a disciple of Christ, and every disciple of Christ is to be a disciple-maker. We believe people transformed, and being transformed, by the Gospel, will desire to love God and love others as the natural response to the work of the Gospel in their own lives. The church is to then equip them for the work of the ministry! In other words, the Gospel’s work is to move us to make disciples. The church’s work is to equip us to make disciples. We are therefore committed to preaching the Gospel, and letting the Gospel do its transforming work in the context of our community, as we love, shepherd, and equip one another for making disciples. Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 2:42; Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:11-17
We believe that evangelism is the personal and corporate duty of the Christian and the church to deliberately share the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ with others (and especially unbelievers) towards encouraging repentance, belief, and perpetual transformation. We understand evangelism is clearly Christ’s commandment, and that is every believer’s calling to spread the message of God’s redeeming love to a lost world. Isaiah 6:8; Matthew 9:37-38; Mark 16:15; 1 Corinthians 9:22; 1 Peter 3:15
We believe that worship is the ultimate ordinance of God, and is the believer’s holy responsibility and holistic response (heart, mind, body and spirit) to the worthiness of all that God is, does, says. As such, our corporate aim is to facilitate an atmosphere where God’s people can experience His love through the ministry and movement of the Holy Spirit, can receive strength from His presence, and be transformed by His power, toward the end of living productive, prosperous, and victorious (successful) lives in community. Psalm 95:1-6; John 4:24; Romans 12:1
We believe prayer is our great privilege as children of God. We believe prayer not only allows us to lay our hearts at the very throne room of God but allows God a special fluidity to bend our will to His; thus, we believe prayer is vital to our growth and humility in Christ. We desire to see thousands of people come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and this a work of God, and thus the greatest weapon we have in order to see our desire become a reality is prayer. We plead with God for the salvation of the lost and the glory of our God to be made known among the nations. We believe that being a praying church will allow us to be an expectant church, believing that God hears our prayers and desires to answer them according to His Sovereign pleasure and for the sake of His glory. Psalm 145:18; Matthew 7:7; James 5:14-16; Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Timothy 2:8
5. WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT EXPOSITIONAL PREACHING
We believe the Bible is the inerrant, authoritative, infallible Word of God. We believe the Word of God, enabled by the Spirit of God, has the power to change lives. We do not desire to promote the latest and greatest ideas for life-improvement; rather, we seek to preach the Word, giving light to the God-breathed, life transforming eternal truths that we desperately need to hear in order to have life, hope, and freedom in Christ. Isaiah 55:11; Romans 1:16-17; Romans 10:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12
6. WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT STEWARDSHIP
God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtor-ship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and treasure; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer's cause on earth. Genesis 14:20; Malachi 3:8-12; 2 Corinthians 8:1-5; 2 Corinthians 9:6-11; Philippians 4:17-19
7. WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT MISSIONS
We desire to share the love of Christ with those in our immediate context of the greater Dayton area by any strategic means possible. We want to have compassion on those who are hurting, and consider it a privilege to be able to respond in love to those in need around us just as Christ has first reached out in love to us in our great need. We hope to adopt ministries that already exist and create ministries that are needed but do not exist in order to engage in ministry to the least of these in our community. (This would include prison ministry, schools, human trafficking, recovery ministries (drug and alcohol). Matt.25:35-40; Luke 10:25-37; Acts 1:8
Our strategy will be to come alongside indigenous leaders across the globe with our prayers, service, financial support, and theological and discipleship training so that they might more deeply love Jesus, and more effectively make Disciples of Christ. Psalm 96:3; Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:14; I Thessalonians 1:4-8; Romans 10:14-15
8. WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT THE CHURCH
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ (Baptism; full emerging & Communion), governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. The New Testament speaks also of the church as the body of Christ, which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation. Matthew 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42,47; 1 Timothy 2:9-14; Hebrews 10:25; 1 Peter 5:1-4
9. WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT THE FAMILY
Genesis 1:26-28; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; Ephesians 5:21-33, Colossians 3:18-21
We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of society and the primary context for discipleship. Families are composed of people related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. Husband and wife (male and female from birth) are both made in God’s image and have equal value before God; while at the same time possessing distinct roles in the marriage. The husband is to gently lead and sacrificially love his wife as Christ loved the church and the wife is to graciously submit herself to her husband as the church willingly submits to Christ. God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other. We believe that God has commanded that there should be no intimate sexual activity between a man and a woman outside of marriage. Any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography, any attempt to change one's sex or disagreement with one's biological sex, is sinful and offensive to God. We believe that children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and inheritance from the Lord. Parents are to patiently lead their children in the ways of Christ by intentional instruction, gracious discipline, and consistent example based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents for the glory of God and their ultimate good. We believe the family is not only the first context created by God for making disciples, but the primary context for the discipleship of our children. Therefore, a core value of our ministry is ministering to families in a way that helps them to “raise their children in the training and instruction of the Lord”. We want our church to serve as a compliment to the ministry happening in each of our homes. We see the church not just as an institution, organization, or business, but more so as a family of families. Genesis 2:24; Joshua 24:15; Psalm 127:3-5; Ephesians 6:1-4; 1 Corinthians 7:3-5
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now in the presence of God, angels and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge and holiness; to give it a place in our affections, prayers and services above every organization of human origin; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrine; to contribute cheerfully and regularly, as God has prospered us, towards its expenses, for the support of a faithful and evangelical ministry among us, the relief of the poor and the spread of the Gospel throughout the world. In case of difference of opinion in the church, we will strive to avoid a contentious spirit, and if we cannot unanimously agree, we will cheerfully recognize the right of the majority to govern.
We also engage to maintain family and secret devotion; to study diligently the word of God; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be kind and just to those in our employ, and faithful in the service we promise others; endeavoring in the purity of heart and good will towards all men to exemplify and commend our holy faith.
We further engage to watch over, to pray for, to exhort and stir up each other unto every good word and work; to guard each other's reputation, not needlessly exposing the infirmities of others; to participate in each other's joys, and with tender sympathy bear one another's burdens and sorrows; to cultivate Christian courtesy; to be slow to give or take offense; but always ready for reconciliation, being mindful of the rules of the Savior in the eighteenth chapter of Matthew, to secure it without delay; and through life, amid evil report, and good report to seek to live to the glory of God, who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. When we remove from this place, we engage as soon as possible to unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God's word.